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Santa Monica wants ban on declawing cats

October 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Santa Monica city council is set to vote tonight on whether to ban the practice of declawing cats.The pressure is on because a crucial deadline concerning the controversial issue is fast-approaching.

On Jan. 1, a new state wide law will go into effect prohibiting local from instituting declawing bans, which is why the city of Santa Monica is rushing to vote on Tuesday.

"I think it's an important part of a cat to have claws," Jennifer Conrad from the Paw Project said. "It's part of their emotional being, it's part of their physiological being, it's part of their anatomy and they use them in ways that we don't even understand."

It's a debate that will dominate the Santa Monica city council meeting Tuesday night. Leaders will vote on a new citywide ordinance banning the declawing of cats. Supporters are trying to rush the vote before a statewide law goes into effect Jan. 1, prohibiting cities from instituting such bans.

"For me this is a matter of humane treatment of our companion animals," said Santa Monica city councilmember Kevin McKeown. "We're not talking about some kind of a pedicure or manicure pampering your pet. We're talking about amputating ten toes."

Doctor Mark Nunez is the president of the California veterinarian medical association. He says it's important for cat owners to have that declawing option.

"Some households that have elderly people or some households with very young infants, this group of people simply cannot be scratched by a cat."

Nunez says there are products like soft paws that can be used to cover claws. He also says that most vets only declaw as a last resort and a ban like this keeps vets from doing their jobs.


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